NYS DOH, DMV Encourage New Yorkers to join the Organ Donation Registry

October 10 is Organ Donor Enrollment Day

More Than Five Million New Yorkers Have Signed Up to Save Lives

ALBANY, N.Y. (October 10, 2018) - The New York State Department of Health (DOH) and the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) announced that today, Wednesday, October 10, marks the fourth annual New York State Organ Donor Enrollment Day, and encouraged New Yorkers to join the State's organ donation registry. To date, nearly 5.3 million New Yorkers have joined this life-saving database.

"Nearly 10 percent of the people on the national organ transplant waiting list are from New York, and the need for donors is growing," said Terri Egan, DMV Executive Deputy Commissioner."Lives are waiting to be saved through this generous act of kindness. If you have ever thought about joining the organ donor registry, Organ Donor Enrollment Day is the perfect time to do it. Signing up as an organ donor takes only a few minutes but it can have a lasting impact on so many lives."

"Enrolling in the NYS Donate Life Registry is a simple wayeach of uscan save the lives of up to eight people," said Dr. Howard A. Zucker, New York State Health Commissioner. "Under Governor Cuomo's leadership, we have made it easier than ever for New Yorkers to become organ donors and make this profound gift part of their legacy."

According to the U.S. Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network, there are more than 9,400 New Yorkers who are awaiting an organ transplant including over 100 children under the age of 18. Nationally, and here in New York, there is a shortage of available organs for people in need of life-saving transplants.

Some 20 people die each day in the U.S. while awaiting an organ transplant. A person is added to the waiting list every 10 minutes. In 2017, more than 500 New Yorkers were removed from the waiting list because they died before an organ became available for them or they became too ill to receive a transplant.

New York State Department of Health (DOH) and the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) work together to promote organ donation and encourage more New Yorkers to support this life-saving mission.

New Yorkers can enroll in the NYS Donate Life Registry through the following online options:

Other ways people interested in becoming donors can enroll in the Registry include by completing the donation section of their driver license or non-driver ID renewal application, the Voter Registration Form, the application for an NYC identification card, when obtaining health insurance through the NY State of Health Insurance Marketplace or by mailing a completed enrollment form to the New York State Donate Life Registry.

The State has taken many steps in recent years to increase the number of registered organ, eye and tissue donors. In early 2017, 16-and 17-year-olds became able to enroll in the Registry and the NYS Health Insurance Marketplace became a portal for Registry enrollment. Later in the year, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed an Executive Order that identified increasing the number of registered organ donors as a priority and directing the State Health Department to work with all state agencies, Donate Life NYS and other partners to provide the public with additional opportunities to become a registered organ donor through the NYS Donate Life Registry.

In the last year, since the launch of the new NYS Donate Life Registry more than 540,000 people have enrolled to become organ, eye and/or tissue donors. Almost 38,000 of the new registrants were 16 or 17 years old. Approximately 91,000 new enrollments came from the Health Insurance Marketplace.

Under "Lauren's Law," which was made permanent last year, the DMV includes on its license renewal form the choice for New Yorkers to enroll in the NYS Donate Life Registry. Customers are required to check one of two boxes related to organ donation for their application to be processed. The law is named for Lauren Shields, a Rockland County resident who received a life-saving heart transplant at age 9 and who is now a formidable advocate for organ donation.

DMV also offers a Donate Life custom license plate to raise awareness and support critical research. When a consumer orders such a plate, $20 of the annual fee is provided to the "Life Pass It On Trust Fund," which is used for organ donation and transplant research and educational programs promoting organ and tissue donation. Plates can be ordered on the DMV website at https://dmv.ny.gov/plates/life-pass-it.